Paper mache bowls have become a huge trend in the modern vintage style. However, they can cost anywhere from $50-$300 dollars! In my opinion, this DIY was worth it as it only cost me $10 for the supplies. Check out the simple steps below to have a little fun throwback to elementary school days through this DIY!
- Newspaper (large stack)
- Elmer’s Glue (white)
- Cheesecloth for straining
- Paint (color of your choice)
- Bowl for mold
- Plastic wrap or bag (to cover bowl)
I used a large mixing bowl as a mold, so please take into consideration the size of your own as you scale measurements.
1.Shred newspaper by hand tearing or using a paper shredder. I ended up needing about 12 cups to make the bowl, rim, and base. But, you’ll want to start out with around 8 cups for just the bowl. Put your shredded newspaper in a very large mixing bowl and pour hot water over it, until everything is covered. At around 10 minutes of soaking, your paper should be ready to go. Note: the ink will run off but not to worry, it can easily be cleaned.
2. Put the pulp you’ve created into a blender to smooth out your shreds.
3. Using your cheesecloth, strain most of the water out of your pulp. I ordered this one and it came in a day, for just $4!
4. Add in the flour, salt and glue. In a separate, dry bowl mix your newspaper and 1 cup of flour In a dry bowl, take your 6 cups of newspaper pulp and add 1 cup of flour, 2 Tbsp of salt and 1/4 cup of white glue. The ratio of paper pulp to flour should be about 3:1. Hand mix it all together like you are kneading dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky (if so, add flour) or too dry (if so, more water or glue). I really wanted a lumpy texture of the bowl, so if you want more of a smooth look, go a little more on the wet side.
5. Start building! Wrap your bowl in either plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This will be your mold. Simply press the clay around the bowl in at least a 1/4″ thickness. Again, start with just the bowl. You can fill in or smooth out any texture by using more clay.
6. Make more clay for your rim and base. This was just my approach, as I could pause to make more and let the bowl start to dry. Depending on the thickness of each, gauge how much clay you may need. Better to make more, then toss. However, it doesn’t take too long to whip up a batch! Here, you want to repeat steps 1-4.
7. Form your rim and base. This again is all up to you in terms of the look! I had no issue with it attaching as the bowl takes time to dry.
8. Time to dry. I let my bowl dry for two days, I’d even give it three if you can. You want it to be strong enough to remove from the mold. If it does break, you can simply fill in and breakage.
9. Bake! To make sure it is entirely dry and held together, place it in the oven at the lowest temp (150, 175 degrees) for 40 minutes. 20 minutes upright, 20 minutes face down.
10. Choose any paint color of your choice. Tip: I went through interior samples we already have in our basement and picked a soft beige from Behr. I painted 3 coats to fill in the cracks as much as possible, but the fun of it is that it’s totally up to you based on the look you want!
Any questions? Comment below! Share yours on social by tagging @megleonardco